More specifically, how prevalent they are.

Some desperately want to believe that the so-called JoeBots are a small minority of fans (“the same hundred idiots”, etc). I think that’s naive.

If you divide Penn State’s fanbase into “highly engaged” versus “casual”, then discard the casual, then you’re left with the determination of “how many are JoeBots”.

I believe the PS4RS voting, and the internet, shows us that the proportion of JoeBots to sane Penn Staters among the “highly engaged” is at least 2-1 in favor of JoeBots (and that’s me being very conservative). Unfortunately, the older voting results (pre-Sandusky) don’t seem to show overall turnout, but the characterization by the media has been that turnout increased massively (the high point was north of 37,000 votes last year; presumably the pre-Sandusky turnout was at least under 20,000 or it could not have been labelled as a ‘surge’).

That means at least ten or twenty thousand new people voted in the trustee election post-Sandusky. And obviously the vast majority of them voted for PS4RS. This is not consistent with “the same hundred idiots” characterization some prefer.

Now compare to the number of highly engaged ‘sane’ Penn Staters. Take every screen name at BSD that’s ever posted, if you think those guys are sane (I don’t, but they’re perhaps saneR than PS4RS at least). Stack up against ten or twenty thousand new JoeBot voters and tell me which one is bigger.

This doesn’t mean “most Penn Staters are JoeBots”. There’s no way to tell that. What it does mean is that the people who think the JoeBots are a tiny fringe are likely not correct. There’s a shitload of people who don’t pay attention, likely dwarfing both groups, but “JoeBot” is almost surely a much larger group than “sane and engaged”.


The rules regarding This Trophy

You have to use a hand truck because of all the gravitas.

You have to use a hand truck because of all the gravitas.

1. Every year, the game is played between the two noble squads, in the most significant rivalry the Big Ten has ever seen.

2. At the conclusion of said contest, the winner gets (is required) to weld or bolt an item of their choice to the trophy.

3. Following said welding/bolting activity, the loser of said game must take the trophy home and display it prominently until the following year’s contest.


Good lord

On my weekly-ish sojourn to BSD I see this thread:

Quick Qusetion [sic]

People trying to assert their superiority to yours truly in the same thread where they mention my wife, my kids, and try to establish I must have been abused as a child.

I urge you to go back to this thread, which was the one in which I was banned, in which I simply but firmly asked the moderator why one of his pals was not being held to the same standard of behavior he insisted I do. No attacks on anybody’s family (I’ve never done that); or their spouse; or what have you.

The differences between me and the BSD community are that I show you the evidence to back up my claim, and it actually matches what I’m saying. Oh, and, once again, I don’t make things personal by, let’s say, stating people’s kids need to be on suicide watch.

The first link, people, and that “suicide watch” comment, is what BSD is. And they’re actually proud of it. Nobody ever makes them stop. None of their fellow community members ever say “hey, man, that’s too far”1.

Some other notes:

It was asserted in that execrable thread above that this is “my blog”. This is actually a side project designed to keep sports content out of my main flow; I don’t write much here because I lost the urge to talk about sports for the most part after seeing how much like every other fanbase ours was, and then the reception I got on BSD for being an adult and saying that our community, the one who claimed we were better than everybody for so long, needed to own this shit and not try to get out of it. I do a lot of writing on other topics, though, on twitter or less often (but much more often than here) on the main blog focusing on transportation and land use. If you want to find me in a sports comment section, try Off Tackle Empire or once in a long while on EDSBS.

  1. except for a guy I know who only went to the thread after I pointed it out to him and had already written this post []

Black Shoe Diaries, in pictures, for now

Do I really have to tell you to click the images to embiggen them? I hope not.

This is how people thought BSD was a while back

This is how people thought BSD was a while back

When I and aurabass were both involved in the site – people assumed we were the opposite poles of the spectrum. This is sort of what that looked like.

But wait. What happens when you zoom out a bit?

Knowledgeable football fans

Knowledgeable football fans – people who read all or most of the Freeh report, for instance.

Once you zoom out, you realize that there’s a whole universe of people who follow football very closely and are smart people who, really, would view M1EK as somewhat nicer to Paterno than the facts would warrant. Really nothing is added to the aurabass side of the picture here. In fact, there are a whole passel of Penn State fans who don’t post to BSD who are to the right of M1EK in this graph – hanging out in places like EDSBS.

Is this the end? Nope. Zoom out a little further:

General public

General public

This is how the general public views things now. Notice there’s really nobody in the general public to the other side of aurabass, but the supposedly equally radical M1EK now looks like what he really is – somebody who bled blue and white who was just disappointed as all fuck in both his old hero and his fellow alums.

So, did BSD really even things out by banning the two people in their ‘poles’ – even though M1EK was banned for just getting under the skin of a particular shitheel rather than actually violating any site rules?



Aurabass was banned and in his place a couple of dudes apparently from PS4RS have picked up his slack. Meanwhile, on the “reasonable Penn State fan” side, nobody is willing to step back into that cesspool after seeing how people are treated who dare defy the Paterno gospel.

More if I garner the energy. Don’t hold your breath.

How’d I do?

The predictions were here.


Stupid Midwesterners Division:

My predictions: Actual results:

1 kNU 6-2
2 MSU 6-2
3 Iowa 5-3
4 jNW 3-5
5 UM 3-5
6 Minny 0-8

1 MSU 7-1
2 UM 6-2
3 kNU 5-3
4 Iowa 4-4
5 jNW 3-5
6 Minny 2-6

Other than Michigan, the Stupid Midwesterners Division panned out within a reasonable range of how I thought it would. Minny seems like wrong but they really did suck this badly. Brady Hoke did a surprisingly good job. I worry he’s going to bring them back to Carr levels fairly quickly.

Now for the Slightly Less Stupid Eastern Division:

My predictions: Actual results:

1 Wisc 8-0
2 tPSU 6-2
3 Zookers 5-3
4 tOSU 4-4
5 Indy 1-7
6 Purdue 1-7

1A Wiscy 6-2
1B tPSU 6-2
3 Purdue 4-4
4 tOSU 3-5
5 Zookers 2-6
6 Indy 0-8

(Note that for some stupid reason I ordered by in-division record, which was dumb and not correct; I have fixed it here).

Not so good here. Note: Don’t say Penn State tied for first. Wisconsin beat us head-to-head. They are 1A, we’re 1B. Purdue seemed like they sucked when I watched them but they somehow exceeded expectations by a lot, while Greater Evil got deservedly pantsed. Also, Ron Zook? Why can’t I quit you?

Also, as usual, I underestimate chaos and tend to assume good teams always beat bad teams. Note to self – throw in 50% more chaos next time.

On False Narratives (Regarding Bannings)

This comment by user “OctaShields” resulted in a temporary ban that was protested vigorously for days by people who insisted that the old moderator would NEVER have banned somebody for directly attacking him:

NOTE “throbbing boner” and other such attacks.


THIS comment was made from an unidentified induhdividual to that same old moderator referenced above (the one who would never ban anybody for attacking him or disagreeing with him) after a particularly distasteful personal attack was made (TO the commenter, not by him) a couple of comments upstream (follow the link above and use the scrollbar to see it):

NOTE: The “H” word is “homer”.

And THIS is what that commenter got immediately afterwards, and for every visit since (years, now):

So, #teambanned, I can expect you to stop the false narrative that the old guy was a kindly overseer who didn’t care when people attacked him, right? Or that he had tolerance for dissenting points of view?

Note that over the couple of years following, several other posters were banned, and numerous others left of their own accord in response to a perception of groupthink and a general lack of support for dissent among the “community”. At the time this image above was first generated, the “community” was fairly new and it was fairly truthful for the old moderator to make the claim that he had only banned one other person; but by the time the site changed hands, that was no longer the case.

Penn State: Burn Everything Down: Item The Second

Following up to Item The First

Since M1EK is still banned from Homer Central for being substantially less of a jerk to the previous moderator than #teambanned was to the current moderator, this, in addition to Item The FIrst, shall serve as my response to about eleventy-billion comments of the form:

“Paterno DID report it to the police! Gary Schultz! What else was he supposed to do? Go vigilante?”

Dear fools:

Gary Schultz had financial oversight of the campus police department. He was an executive in the organization that had every incentive to cover up the crime rather than investigate it. He is NOT A COP. He does NOT WEAR A BADGE.

The media that you keep attacking for “not knowing the facts” does in fact know the fact that Schultz had financial oversight of the university police.

A fairly representative sample from NPR:

As the senior vice president for finance and business — which gives him oversight of university police — Schultz, 62, has been charged with covering up abuse allegations.

Note the word “oversight”. They do not say he is a cop. They know he is not a cop, as should you.

The national media, seeing as how they have brains that aren’t clouded by blind loyalty, have concluded, as have many of those like me, that he DOES NOT COUNT AS “THE COPS” for the reason that he, again, does not wear a badge; does not work in law enforcement; and had natural incentives to cover up the crime rather than investigate it.

And Paterno knew that. So if he only went to Schultz (and Curley), as it appears he did (stay tuned for future post blasting a hole in the “bbbbut we don’t know what else he did!” claim), he did the bare minimum required by law, but he did NOT “go to the cops” in the way most people would understand it.

And again, note from Item The First that these are just the university police. Most folks in the national media would not consider them under the umbrella “the cops”, but even if they did, you lose on Schultz not being a university “cop”.

So, homers?

Shut up. Again, just shut up. You’re making it worse every time you open your mouths.




Penn State: Burn Everything Down: Item The First

I don’t know how much stomach I’ll have to write on this, because Joe Paterno was pretty much my #1 hero growing up, so I need to get this out quickly.

In regards to the legion of apologists for Paterno infesting Homer Central; I say this, short and to the point:


University Police are a small step up from mall cops. There are some real cops in downtown State College. THOSE ARE “THE COPS”.

Shut up, apologists. I command you to shut up.



You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Dear sports “communities”: I really don’t have time for this. Really. But you’ve ground my gears so much I have to take three seconds away from curing cancer at my real jorb to do this for the sake of the entire internet.

I'm like a fatter, better looking, Peter Griffin.

My gears have no teeth at this point, you would presume. BUT YOU'RE WRONG!

Trolling means something.

It does not mean “an argument I don’t like”. It does not mean “an argument I think is stupid”. It does not even mean “an argument that really makes me mad because they keep making it at me”. Which is how some people are using it these days.

Pretty sure this is Reading Rambler

Charlie Sheen fits in at BSD

It means “somebody is yanking your chain on purpose, and, and this is the most important part: usually doesn’t even believe what they are saying“. The easiest way to tell if it’s a troll is if they are saying something they know is not actually true. Not a matter of opinion; not “I disagree”; but counting two things and coming up with three. Or insisting that the moon landing happened in 1968. It has a long and storied history, originally on USENET, when we called it “fishing”. How do I know this? BECAUSE I DID IT A LOT, JACKWAGONS.

Here’s a really good example (found it in like 3 seconds). I had a Michigan fan going in circles calling me stupid for not being able to count, and mispelling the name of Albert Einstien, while everybody who knew what was going on was giggling behind their own computers in their mom’s basement. (No, YOUR mom’s basement!). In threads like these, I would say “anybody can fake a web page” when refuted with something they dragged up, make my own fake web page, post it in response, and then answer “it’s impossible to fake web pages” when they’d call foul, and they’d never realize they had a hook in their mouth. Or say I had 3 reasons they were wrong, post two (numbered 1 and 2, or even better, 1 and B), then when they called me stupid for not counting correctly, I’d insist I had no idea what they were talking about, and edit the quoted material accordingly. Then, when accused of changing the post, I’d tell them they were clearly idots – because you can’t change something that’s already been posted for these 3 reasons: 1, B. Lather, rinse, repeat, catch, release.

Another good example (difficult to find proto-thread in google groups given that searches prior to 2000 appear to be only intermittently working anymore) is when I made some Nebraska fans furious by insisting that they tied Kansas that one year (1994) when they actually lost to them. I also at a slightly later point had them convinced I was a Nebraska fan by the clever fiction of signing my posts “Husker M1EK” while changing absolutely nothing else.

So that’s fishing, or trolling as you n00bs like to call it now.

Again: things that are NOT trolling: “Somebody said something that I don’t like!”, or “Somebody keeps pissing me off”, or even “Somebody keeps pissing everyone off”. If they believe what they’re saying, it’s not trolling, not really.

Doo Doo De Doooo!

Penn State football starts in eight days!

Well, there’s some kind of exhibition game going on tomorrow against Indiana State, but we all know that can’t be a real game that counts, right? Because it wouldn’t be fair; wouldn’t be “success with honor” to beat up on a team from a conference whose stadiums average around 16,000 seats and from a league which offer substantially lower athletic scholarships than our league does…

Division I FCS schools are currently restricted to giving financial assistance amounting to 63 full scholarships. Unlike Bowl Subdivision schools, Championship Subdivision schools may divide their allotment into partial scholarships, but Championship Subdivision schools are limited to 85 players receiving any sort of athletic financial aid for football. Because of competitive forces, however, a substantial number of players in Championship Subdivision programs are on full scholarships.

According to the fine folks at BSD, there’s nothing wrong with doing the football equivalent of having the Texas Rangers not only play a game against the Round Rock Express but have it count in the standings for both teams. After all, both teams play the same game by the same rules, right? Balls and strikes and whatnot?

Huh. Doesn’t seem right to me. But I’m assured by the homers at BSD that it still doesn’t matter because everybody does. So I’m sure that if I look at the top-flight programs in the BCS conferences, I won’t find anybody who didn’t schedule a 1-AA team. Let’s start!

Team 1-AA games
Ohio State None
Michigan None
Nebraska Chatanooga
Florida State Charleston Southern
Miami Bethune-Cookman
Virginia Tech Appalachian State
Pitt Maine
Oklahoma None
Texas None
Texas A&M None
Noter Dame None
Oregon Missouri State
USC None
Alabama Georgia Southern
Auburn Samford
Florida Furman
Georgia Coastal Carolina
LSU Northwestern State

It goes on like that. Point is that the biggest SEC teams and ACC teams seem to schedule a 1-AA team every single season; and most top-flight programs from other conferences did not. (Of course they schedule one once in a while – Hi Michigan!; but not every single season like Penn State has done lately). An interesting aside: Most of the teams on that list with 9-game conference schedules actually didn’t schedule a 1-AA game.

So, homers, I breathlessly await your apology. Everybody doesn’t do it. And after that, I guess you need to decide who you want to be more like: Michigan, Notre Dame, USC, UCLA; or Florida, Georgia, Auburn, Alabama, Pitt? Just let me know, K?

Will the BSD commentariat get the point?